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Two Arrests in Atlantic Friday


March 9th, 2012 by admin

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest of two people Friday.

Twenty-nine-year-old Robert Tomlinson of Atlantic was cited and released for driving while suspended.

And 19-year-old Alex J Rutledge of Atlantic was arrested for OWI 1st.  He was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

Lawsuit: US Cellular workers looked for nude pics


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former employee alleges that workers at a U.S. Cellular store in Iowa routinely searched customers’ phones for naked pictures and showed them off to each other when they were found. Lisa Blazek alleges in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company that employees at the store would scroll through photos on customers’ phones when they were brought in for service. She says employees often called her over to show off the photos, which included naked people and other pornographic images. Lawyers representing the company and employees being sued denied the allegations in a court filing.

Blazek alleges employees routinely talked about customers’ looks and sex lives and made crude remarks. She says she quit in 2010 after the harassment and retaliation became too much to take.

Bill would hike monthly cell phone fee for 911 service


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Legislators in Iowa are considering a proposal that would increase the surcharge on cell phone bills to help cover the costs of emergency 9-1-1 calls. Iowans with a land line currently pay a one-dollar 9-1-1 surcharge every month, but the 9-1-1 surcharge on cell phones is only 65 cents. The bill would raise the cell phone surcharge to a buck a month. Craig Walter is a lobbyist for Verizon. “We do have some concerns, certainly, with the 35-cent increase to our customers,” Walter says. “It will impact, certainly, every phone that you have within your family for the additional costs.” Senator Tom Hancock, a Democrat from Epworth, says surcharge revenue to finance 9-1-1 operations continues to fall as more people drop their land lines.

“That leaves our local PSAPs — Public Safety Answering Points — with less funding,” Hancock says,”and there’s a lot of them out there struggling right now.” Officials say 70 percent of 9-1-1 calls now come from cell phones. Without additional fees from cell phone customers, emergency service providers say the cost of 9-1-1 upgrades will fall to property tax payers. A bill that would increase the 9-1-1 surcharge on cell phone users has cleared a three-member subcommittee and must next be considered by the Senate’s Ways and Means tax-writing Committee.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

McCurdy Scholarships available to CAM Seniors


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Community Foundation have announced applications are now being accepted for the Dustin McCurdy Endowed Scholarship Fund.  The McCurdy Scholarship provides two scholarships of approximately $500 each to high school seniors from Cumberland Anita Massena High School (CAM). Applications are available from your high school guidance counselor.  Applications are due to your guidance counselor no later than March 31st.  

The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Dustin McCurdy, a Broadcasting major who died from cardiac arhythmia due to an overwhelming viral infection in January 2001, during his Senior year, while attending college at Northwest Missouri State University, in Maryville.

Boswell talks about Farm Bill & partisan bickering in Congress


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell was in Atlantic this (Friday) morning, where he held one of several planned public “Listening Posts on Agriculture.”

Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) listens to a constituent speak at the Atlantic Public Library Friday morning

The session took place before a crowd of a little more than a dozen people, and while it was designed to gain input as preparations are made to craft the next farm bill, it also covered several issues of concern to area residents, including the Inheritance, or “Death Tax,” affordable health care, and what can be done to stop the partisan bickering in Congress. Boswell said “This is a challenging time in the history of this County,” and there are a lot of issues that need attention. One of those concerns, he says, is the Farm Bill, which will come up for a vote this Fall. Boswell says discussion on the bill is one of the few instances where partisan politics were set aside, but didn’t to get anywhere because the “Super Committee” tasked with cutting the budget failed to act.

Regardless, he thinks there will be an agreement on a Farm Bill that will meet with approval of the full Congress.” Of concern though, he says, is a “Safety Net” for farmers, which basically comes down now, to crop insurance. He says crops insurance needs to be affordable and accessible, and available. He also warned Direct Payments to farmers and producers will likely go away. The cuts, he says, will have reduced the bill by about 23-billion dollars, but before any more cuts are made, agencies other than the USDA will have to make sacrifices before any further action is taken on addition cuts to the bill.

The inheritance, or “Death Tax,” cuts set in-place during the first Bush Administration, and is set to expire at the end of this year, was a hot topic at the meeting. One of those in attendance proposed eliminating it entirely on land, if the land will be used for the same purpose the person who passed away used it for. The unidentified man said if the land is used for anything other than what is was formally used for, the person receiving that land should pay the taxes owed, because they’ve changed the use of the land. The same thing he said, could apply to small, family-owned businesses. Boswell said that was an “interesting idea,” but didn’t say whether he would mention it when Congress acts on the Obama Administration’s 2013 budget, which by some accounts, calls for $2-Trillion in new taxes and fees.

Boswell says he hopes Congress can work together to compromise on the budget and other matters. He says work on the Farm Bill has been “very bi-partisan” up to this point, but he blamed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Republican “Contract with America” for much of the partisan bickering that has occurred over the years, and divided the Country.

Red Oak residents arrested today on drug charges


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two Red Oak residents were arrested today (Friday), on drug charges. 43-year old Richard Linfor was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. And, 40-year old Cathy Bush was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrests followed the execution of a search warrant at 210 West Washington Avenue, in Red Oak, at around 9:15-a.m.

Motorcycle activist group packs statehouse for lobbying day


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several hundred motorcyclists in biker gear rolled into the statehouse Thursday. The men and women with the motorcycle activist group known as ABATE, were in Des Moines for their annual lobbying day. State coordinator Phil McCormack of Clear Lake says ABATE is fighting a bill that would license all-terrain vehicles as motorcycles and let ATVs on the road. “We are against it. ATVs are not designed for highway use and they would throw ATVs in the statistics of motorcycle crashes if they were licensed that way,” McCormack said. This year, ABATE helped stop a bill to require helmets for cyclists under age 18. The group is also lobbying for a bill to allow motorcycle dealers to display their wares at biker rallies. McCormack noted that most years it’s too cold to travel on motorcycles for lobbying day, but some bikers did brave the open air this year. McCormack earned the nickname “Bullets” after an incident last year.

 “Evidently, you don’t carry bullets in your jacket in the capital,” McCormack said with a chuckle. “They caught it on the scanner, so they kind of threw that name on me last year. I took them out to my truck. I didn’t have my gun…just some extra bullets in my pocket.” Governor Branstad signed a proclamation Thursday recognizing March as Motorcycle Safety Month.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Marketing Company in Harlan plans to hire 25 people


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An official with ACCENT Marketing Services, LLC, says the company plans to hire 25 new employees at its customer engagement center in Harlan, to support new client growth. Gene Gettys, ACCENT’s Harlan engagement center director, said the company will immediately begin hiring for 10 non-licensed customer engagement specialists to support a variety of home protection products, including warranties, service plans and homeowner emergency assistance programs.  Fifteen additional employees will be hired over the next four months.  In total, ACCENT will employ 50 people in Harlan once the hiring ramp-up is complete.

Gettys says ACCENT is seeking employees with at least six months of customer service experience and an aptitude for sales.  Additionally, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.  Individuals with an insurance license who are looking for a career change are also encouraged to apply.  All interested applicants can apply through the careers section of ACCENT’s website at www.accentonline.com

ACCENT will also host a job fair at the Shelby County Entrepreneurial and Technology Center located at 1901 Hawkeye Ave. in Harlan.  The job fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on March 15 and 16 and from 8 a.m. until noon on March 17.  The Harlan center is the only ACCENT facility located in Iowa and serves as a dedicated insurance and financial services customer engagement center. 

ACCENT opened the Harlan facility in February after announcing it had acquired the licensed agent line of business from a leading insurance solutions provider.  Under the agreement, ACCENT retained the provider’s employees and management as well as assumed its client contracts specifically related to the company’s licensed agent line of business. Founded in 1993, ACCENT employs more than 2,500 people across the United States, Jamaica and the Philippines.

8AM Newscast 03-09-2012

News, Podcasts

March 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Red Oak man sentenced to 1-year in jail for go-cart crash, will serve 90 days


March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man charged in connection with a September 5th, 2011 go-cart accident that critically injured his two-year old son, was sentenced late last month to serve one-year in jail, with all but 90-days of the term suspended. According to on-line court records, on February 27th 35-year-old Shawn Michael Soar entered a written plea of guilty, to Child Endangerment causing bodily injury, and 1st offense OWI charges. The charges were reduced from felony offenses when the mother of Ryan Soar agreed to plea deal. Judge James Heckerman placed Shawn Soar on a work-release probation, and ordered him to treatment for one-year at Zion Recovery Services.  He must also pay fines and related court costs amounting to $2,000, plus attorney’s fees.

The incident which lead to Soar’s arrest took place at around 9:15-p.m. September 5th, when the go-kart he and his son were riding hit a parked pickup truck, in the 700-block of East Grimes Street in Red Oak. Lab results indicated Soar’s alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for allowed driving, in Iowa. Shawn Soar suffered minor injuries in the crash, but Ryan was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Omaha. He was later released, but the child, who has since turned three, is still being treated for his injuries on an out-patient basis.